The competition for Scotland's tastiest bivalves is an eagerly anticipated part of the event. Image: Rob Fletcher.

Putting the big three-o into Oban

Bivalve experts from as far afield as Shetland, New England and even New Zealand are set to descend on Oban on 6th and 7th October for the annual gathering of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers (ASSG).

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Given that 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the AASG – and thus the start of the group’s 4th decade – it is only appropriate that theme of the event is "Scottish Cultivated Shellfish - Past, Present and Future".

An impressive line-up of speakers has been drawn up for the occasion and editor of The Grower, Janet Brown, told Fish Farming Expert: “It is shaping up to be a very good mix of home and International talent.”

Likely highlights include talks by Gregg Arthur, of NAFC, who is delivering an update on the new mussel hatchery in Shetland and its aim to securing future spat supplies; Michael Tait, of Shetland Mussels, who is exploring how shellfish can help fulfil the Scottish aquaculture industry’s 2030 Vision; and Dr Carter Newell of Pemaquid Mussel Farms, in Maine, who is talking about strategies employed by growers from across the pond.

Meanwhile those of a more culinary persuasion will be eagerly awaiting both the outcome of the competitions to find the growers of Scotland’s best mussels, Pacific and native oysters as well as the annual knees up at the Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant on the Thursday evening.

Janet is keen to emphasise, that despite the milestone, it’s very much a forward-looking event.

As she observed: “There will be some time for reflection on where we have come from but we will mainly be looking to the future.”

For further developments, or to see the latest version of the programme, visit